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MAY 2014

11th-17thTornado-spawning storms that tore through parts of Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska over the weekend will move across the central United States on Monday. The NWS said severe weather and flooding will be possible from the central Plains to the Great Lakes region. Colder air will continue to bring heavy snow across portions of the Rockies. On Monday, there's a 50-60% chance of thunderstorms in Omaha, Nebraska, and Kansas City, Missouri, the weather service said. Clear weather is forecast for Tuesday. Though the storms in the Plains bypassed the cities, residents of rural areas began cleaning up after twisters wreaked havoc. No deaths or serious injuries were reported. Severe storms expected in Nebraska. In Sutton, Nebraska, at least one tornado touched down Sunday. Loren H. Uden, Emergency Management Coordinator for Clay County, told CNN a police officer was hurt when high winds blew the windows out of a cruiser. Ten grain bins were damaged and roofs were blown off eight businesses.

11th-17thHeavy rain preceded and accompanied a late-season surge of cool air. Most of the eastern half of the nation received at least an inch of rain, with 2 to 4 inch totals were common from eastern Texas into the central and eastern Plains, and in the Atlantic Coast States. Heavy precipitation preceded and accompanied the surge of cold air.

Cheyenne, WY, received a foot of snow on May 11-12. Most of Cheyenne’s snow, 10.5 inches, fell on May 11. Elsewhere on May 11, daily record snowfall amounts included 5.0 inches in Scottsbluff, NE, and 3.6 inches in Great Falls, MT. On the same date, record setting precipitation amount for May 11 climbed to 2.96 inches in Lincoln, NE; 2.42 inches in Jacksonville, FL; 1.54 inches in Moab, UT; 1.47 inches in Scottsbluff; 1.45 inches in Dodge City, KS; and 1.22 inches in Cheyenne. The following day, record-setting rainfall amounts for May 12 totaled 4.10 inches in Lufkin, TX; 1.53 inches in Ottumwa, IA; and 1.19 inches in Flint, MI. Flint’s 4-day (May 12-15) rainfall reached 3.32 inches. As the week progressed, heavy rain continued but shifted eastward. On May 13, Houston, TX (3.44 inches), and El Dorado, AR (2.19 inches), collected daily-record totals. May 14 featured record setting amounts in locations such as Lexington, KY (2.09 inches), and Fort Wayne, IN (1.41 inches). Rain intensified across the East on May 15-16. Daily record totals topped 3 inches in several locations, including Lynchburg, VA (3.12 inches on May 15); MT. Pocono, PA (3.09 inches on May 16); and Norfolk, VA (3.01 inches on May 16). Marquette, MI, received 3.6 inches of snow on May 15-16, while Rockford, IL (a trace on May 16), observed its second-latest snowflakes behind May 24, 1925.


18th-24…Heavy precipitation (locally 2 to 4 inches or more) developed toward week’s end across the drought-stricken southern Plains. The rain fell too late to benefit the southern Plains’ winter wheat, but aided rangeland, pastures, and a variety of summer crops. Showers also fell across the central Plains, with some of the heaviest rain (at least 1 to 2 inches) falling in eastern Kansas. Rainfall was uneven, however, with significant precipitation bypassing southwestern Kansas and southeastern Colorado. Western precipitation was mostly isolated and related to the development of a storm system that later produced the heavy showers across the nation’s mid-section. From May 22-26, rainfall accounted for at least 50 to 90 percent of the year to date precipitation totals at numerous locations on the southern Plains. In Texas, Lubbock’s 5 day total of 5.23 inches accounted for 85 percent of the January 1 – May 26 sum. Lubbock also received more precipitation from May 22-26 than during the preceding 300 days only 5.05 inches fell from July 26, 2013 – May 21, 2014. Five day rainfall reached 4.45 inches in Roswell, NM; 3.82 inches in Childress, TX; and 1.78 inches in Guymon, OK, accounting for 92, 61, and 62 percent of the respective year to date totals. Rain began a day earlier, on May 21, in parts of northern Texas , where  Amarillo’s May 21-26 sum of 3.55 inches represented 75 percent of the year to date total. Most (4.44 inches) of Roswell’s rain fell on May 24, resulting in the wettest day on record in that location (previously, 4.34 inches on July 13, 1991). Back in Texas, San Angelo’s storm-total rainfall of 7.42 inches was compressed into 4 days, from May 23-26. Nearly 90 percent of San Angelo’s year to date precipitation (7.42 of 8.27 inches) fell during that 4-day span. Earlier in the week, locally heavy showers had dotted the Pacific Northwest. In Oregon, Portland (1.06 inches) received a daily-record amount for May 18. Three days later, record-setting totals for May 21 reached 1.75 inches in Dayton, OH, and 1.37 inches in Flint, MI. As the late-week storm began to evolve, Palmdale, CA, collected a daily record sum (0.96 inch) on May 22—the highest daily amount in that location since February 28. Toward week’s end, heavy showers also affected the northern and central Plains. Daily record amounts on May 23 such as 2.96 inches in Jamestown, ND, and 2.90 inches in Salina, KS, were followed by record-setting totals for May 24 in Dickinson, ND (2.67 inches), and Chanute, KS (2.39 inches).  Early in the week, chilly weather lingered in the East.


25th-31stHeavy rain associated with a slow moving storm shifted eastward across the South. Rain was especially heavy from central and eastern Texas to western Florida, with many locations reporting at least 4 to 8 inches. As the week began, heavy rainfall persisted across portions of the nation’s mid-section. From May 22-26, rainfall accounted for at least 50 to 90 percent of the year to date precipitation totals at numerous locations in the southern Plains. During the last 5 days of the month, 9.21 inches soaked Lafayette. Meanwhile, locally heavy showers also arrived in the East and Midwest.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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